Thursday, May 09, 2013

I am grateful to still have Martin's family. It is less of a nation without him.

May 9, 2013 Statement from the Richard Family (click here)

I really think the House and Senate have Republicans with profound ethical dilemmas.

By Rebekah Metzler
May 9, 2013
...The absence of all eight (click here) Republican committee members left the panel without a quorum, though had all Democrats been present, they would have been able to proceed. Boxer, however, dismissed that approach – at least for now.
"Today we are asking the Republicans to come back, we will schedule another mark-up," she said, adding it was never her intention to push the confirmation today without Republicans present.
But the Democrats present at the hearing each took their turn bashing their conservative colleagues over the walkout, extolling McCarthy's experience and willingness to answer what they called an unprecedented number of questions.
"They may not like the answers, but she's given them the answers," said Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del. "I'm an old governor, I believe that elections have consequences."...
All the geniuses of the Senate are in boycott because they don't think their questions were answered. Dah.
David Vitter - Voted YES on Hurricane Sandy Relief
James M. Inhofe - Voted NO on Hurricane Sandy Relief
John Barrasso - Voted NO on Hurricane Sandy Relief
Jeff Sessions - Voted NO on Hurricane Sandy Relief
Mike Crapo - Voted NO on Hurricanse Sandy Relief
Roger F. Wicker - Voted YES on Hurricane Sandy Relief
John Boozman - Voted NO on Hurricase Sandy Relief
Deb Fischer -
Voted NO on Hurricane Sandy Relief

Hurricane Sandy was a Climate Crisis storm. There are at least two Republican members of the Senate EPW Committee that realized this was not a usual storm that could be addressed through usual emergency channels.

Sandy was only a Category One storm, yet, the storm surge and the winds throughout the entire size of this storm leveled cities and caused diminished capacity of emergency responders to stop fires. Sandy was a Climate Crisis storm. Unprecedented.

The EPA nominee recognizes the increased level of CO2 in our troposphere which is now bumping up to 400 ppm. She is a person with unguessable qualifications during a very difficult time in our nation. Now is not the time for boycotts when our nation faces these terrible realities. 

by Glenn Trush
May 8, 2013
Sen. Vitter, a Louisiana Republican with close ties to the gas and oil industries, has already sent a whopping 653 questions to President Obama's nominee to take over the Environmental Protection Agency on a wide range of regulatory topics (and her use of government email accounts) ahead of her Thursday confirmation hearings, according to a Democratic staffer directly involved in the confirmation process....
Vitter isn't fit to sit on this Senate Committee. If he has to ask 653 questions of a nominee then he does not have the 'basic' understanding of the responsibilities of the committee or the EPA Secretary. No nominee is responsible for EDUCATING Republicans about the reality of the world we live in so much as stating how she can help. This is ridiculous.

The members of the Senate EPW Committee that puts personal beliefs before the well being of our nation should resign their positions to those that at least understands that science is real. This Senate Committee is dense in scientific understanding, so those unable to understand science due to lack of knowledge and/or religious preferences need to get out of the way of those that can handle the demands of this committee.

The Long War Journal was reporting the day of the Benghazi attacks...

...that Ansar al-Sharia "didn't participate as a sole entity," and that the attack "was a spontaneous popular uprising" to an anti-Islam film. That was on the day of the attacks in Benghazi.

Muhammad Jamal al Kashef, a main suspect in the Benghazi consulate assault, from a video posted by the Al Marsad News Network. Courtesy of SITE Intelligence Group.

Egypt arrests al Qaeda-linked Benghazi suspect (click here) 
by Thomas Joscelyn
December 8, 2012
The Egyptian government has arrested Muhammad Jamal al Kashef (a.k.a. Abu Ahmed), a senior terrorist tied to the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, according to The Wall Street Journal. Kashef has direct, longstanding connections to al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri.
Kashef served as an Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) terrorist in the 1990s and was imprisoned for years. The EIJ was headed by Zawahiri, who merged the group with Osama bin Laden's operation.
After his release from prison in 2011, Kashef established training camps in Egypt and Libya. Some of Kashef's trainees took part in the Benghazi attack, according to multiple published accounts.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Kashef "petitioned al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri to establish a new Qaeda affiliate he called al Qaeda in Egypt" and also received financing from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Al Hayat, a London-based Arabic newspaper, previously reported that Zawahiri gave Jamal the go-ahead to launch terrorist attacks in Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere....

Video reportedly shows key suspect from Benghazi attack (click here)

by Thomas Joscelyn 

October 31, 2012

One of the main suspects in the Sept. 11 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi appeared in a recent video posted online by an Egyptian media organization, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
Muhammad Jamal al Kashef (a.k.a. Abu Ahmed) is suspected of training some of the terrorists responsible for the consulate assault, during which Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.
On Oct. 28, the Al Marsad News Network posted a short interview with Jamal on YouTube.
It is not clear where or when the interview was filmed, but Jamal says he "always came to this place inside a State Security vehicle, and this is the first time" he did not. Jamal does not add much more.
The interviewer concludes by congratulating him, according to SITE's translation. "A thousand congratulations, Sheikh Abu Ahmed, a thousand congratulations, Muhammad Jamal Abu al Kashef. Peace be upon you O Sheikh!"...
Hicks was responsible for the security in Libya, he should have been fired and not just reassigned to a desk! By becoming a sympathetic figure through all the GOP nonsense for political gain, Hicks is attempting to secure at least his desk job before he finds himself on the other side of the front door. 

He is insubordinate. It is just that simple when the USA national security is involved. I was astounded by the lack of respect for the country's security at the Issa hearing. It was complete incompetency.

Hicks is playing the game and he should not be. Just that simple.

The USA intelligence was not complete in regard to Benghazi when the attacks occurred and the agencies were reliant on news reports from the area to make determinations. There were media reports about Benghazi stating the attacks were originally demonstrations following the video. One of the reports was in The Long War Journal. I know these media reports existed because I read them. They were there. The timing was correct as well. The attacks in Benghazi followed the activity in Cairo. It all made sense, but, details were elusive. Ambassador Rice was correct in contextualizing the agency reporting in a way that was digestible by the public until more facts were known. Why escalate the issue to the public when the agencies didn't have those facts before them.

No one bothers to talk about the damage that could have been done if the decision to deploy the military from Tripoli into Benghazi was up to Hicks. He did not have the authority, nor should he, to override the DOD. The decisions made on September 11, 2012 were the correct decisions, they weren't the heroic decisions, but they were correct. We didn't want any more dead than already was possible because the intelligence was bad.

No one in the DOD is allowed to throw away the rule book and send American personnel into a situation where they don't know what they are facing. I realize the military personnel, especially any Special Forces are heroic people, but, we can't afford to lose them. The DOD has to act for the greatest good and can't simply send specially trained personnel into a dangerous situation on a whim. That was done all to often during the Bush years. It is disrespect for the people that line the halls of our military. Their lives are not disposable because it would be better to be heroic than alive.
Assad Opponents Shun U.S.-Russia Call for Settlement Talks (click here)

Published 3:47 am, Thursday, May 9, 2013

...Seeking to assuage such concerns, Secretary of State John Kerry said today that Assad won’t be part of any transitional government. Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed May 7 to press for an international conference seeking a negotiated settlement to the conflict, which the United Nations says has claimed more than 70,000 lives since March 2011.

Kerry, speaking today during a visit to Rome, said that conversations yesterday with the opposition and other nations to prepare the ground for the U.S.-Russian initiative have been productive. The U.S. ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, arrived in Istanbul yesterday to meet with opposition leaders in a bid to persuade them to participate....

...The U.S.-Russia initiative “is the first hopeful news concerning that unhappy country in a very long time,” Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN special envoy for Syria, said in a statement.

Russia, whose ties with the Assad dynasty date back to the Soviet era, has vetoed three European-drafted UN Security Council resolutions condemning the Syrian government’s crackdown and threatening to impose economic sanctions against regime. Russia has defended its actions, saying the opposition was equally to blame for the violence and that Western powers were seeking a Libya-style regime change....

It is time Russia draw up it's own resolution to end the Syrian siege. 

8 May 2013 Last updated at 12:42 ET
The UN-Arab League envoy for Syria, (click here) Lakhdar Brahimi, has hailed a US-Russia commitment to work together to end the conflict in the country.

He said it was "the first hopeful news" on Syria for a long time, but cautioned that it was "only a first step".

On Tuesday, the US and Russia agreed to convene an international conference to find a political solution on Syria.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said they would encourage both Damascus and the opposition to negotiate.

The deal came after Mr Kerry's talks in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov....

...Speaking to the BBC shortly afterwards, Mr Brahimi said he hoped the Moscow announcements would be a wake-up call for all concerned, and that they would now think only of the Syrian people and how Syria could be saved.

More than 70,000 people are estimated to have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011.

Mr Brahimi also stressed that the US-Russian accord meant that the UN Security Council would now be able to function again....

I think every nation involved is worried about an even further deterioration of the wrong entities are to take over Syria. So, the prudent Russia have the correct focus. There needs to be accountable leadership for Syria which the people accept, but, there has to be caution in any potential for extremists to take over the new government. 

I think the Russians are correct in some of their point of view. It is all to easy to put troops in harms way as a overt sign of 'exerting control,' but, it doesn't accomplish anything except a grand display of military prowess. A lot of people die when the USA deploys military assets. Far more than 70,000 civilians died in Iraq.
The family home of one of the victims, Gina DeJesus, who went missing aged 14, has been festooned to celebrate her return.

I think the city of Cleveland has a lot of explaining to do about the successful imprisonment of three women in the same house for ten years. That is bizarre.

I wonder if Ms. Berry knew her mother had died. I can't imagine she didn't knowing the cruelty of her jailer. I also find it more than a coincidence Ms. Berry's child is six years old. She would have conceived the child about the time her mother died. I think that is odd considering the graphic brutality surrounding other pregnancies.

05:00 PM - May 8, 2013

Needless to say, (click here) the kidnapping case in Cleveland has garnered a ton of media attention now that the three women — Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michele Knight — have been recovered from the house in which they were kept prisoner for a decade. But before it became a national story, Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Regina Brett was on the case. Brett, a columnist since 1994 who’s been at the Plain Dealer since 2000, spoke with Berry’s mother, Louwana Miller, several times in the years between Berry’s April 2003 disappearance and Miller’s 2006 death. She tells CJR what covering the case for the past decade has been like and how she feels now that it’s solved — years too late for Miller....

...It wasn’t your typical weepy, sad mom. She wanted to kill somebody for her daughter being missing. And I think the media didn’t know what to do with somebody like Louwana because she didn’t fit the stereotype. And so I think, in some ways, Amanda didn’t show up on the radar screen for people right away....

There is a reason why these missing women were neglected by Cleveland. There is a discriminating judgement of the community. It took a female journalist dedicated to finding a missing women to at least attempt to bring an effort. Amanda was missing, there was no evidence she was dead. Everything pointed to an abducted woman. It just seems to so obvious to me that three missing women from the same area were among boarded up houses. In some ways, this case is a no-brainer.

Castro succeeded because the system failed. The first thing Ms. Berry said was, "I am Amanda Berry, they have been looking for me, I am free now, here I am." She knew. She knew that for three years while her mother was alive there was attention to her plight. She fully expected the 911 operator to realize who she was. She had a clear understanding she had an important place in a larger social picture of her plight. Her mother was responsible for that importance. I just think Cleveland could not move outside their own 'legal prejudice' to think outside the box. And if detectives and police did think outside the box, why and what stopped them?

Ms. Berry's mother knew by having a female journalist continue to bring focus to her daughter would bring about discovery. She was correct. Louwana Miller was correct. Gina's family stated, "We knew it." Cleveland didn't try hard enough to move past 'the stuff' that prevented their discovery in a community that knew the women were alive.